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Full Version: Battle of the Aegates Islands Believed found
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Came across this while surfing at this late hour:
Quote:ROME (Reuters) - Italian archaeologists believe they are on the verge of finding the ancient ships downed in the battle of the Aegates Islands more than 2,000 years ago thanks to modern technology and a police tip-off.


"This project has an enormous historical value, but perhaps more important is the relevance for archaeology," Sebastiano Tusa, Sicily's chief of marine culture, told Reuters on Friday.

"What we find will help us understand how wars were waged at that time and how battleships were built."

After two years of underwater searches around the islands, which lie west of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea, experts last year found a bronze helmet and some amphorae from about 241 BC, the date of the decisive Roman victory over the Carthage fleet.

At around the same time, a team of Italy's famed art police busted a collector who had a ship's bronze battering ram from the same period on display in his home. It turned out the relic had been illegally looted using nets from the same area.

Unfortunately for Sicily's archaeologists, that area lies 70 metres (230 feet) below sea level.

"We couldn't dive on it, so about four months ago we started a technical probe of the region," Tusa said.

Experts from Sicily and the Institute of Nautical Archaeology in Austin, Texas used sonar and multi-beam bathymetric technology to scan the sea bed and sent down remotely controlled cameras.

"Now, we're certain we have found the location of the battle, but we have yet to discover how much was actually preserved," he said.

"What we really expect to find are remnants of the warships with battering rams and various other weapons like helmets, lances and the heavier tools that would have sunk immediately."

He said works, which were put on hold for analysis of the data, will resume in September and that a discovery could be announced as soon as October.

The Battle of the Aegates Islands was the final naval battle between the fleets of Carthage and the Roman Republic during the First Punic War and marked a turning point for the two powers. Carthage went into decline after its defeat.

Pinpointing the location of the battle and the some sunken 60 ships has been difficult since fighting lasted for up to four hours while the vessels moved in a southerly direction.

The Carthaginian force included 250-300 newly built warships as well as about 400 cargo ships bearing food and agricultural and war equipment.

Tusa said the finds will be the showcase of a new museum dedicated to the battle being built in a former tuna fishing factory on the isle of Favignana.
Woohoo!
A couple of years ago, a similar claim was made: the wrecks of Actium had been discovered. It turned out to be a mistake. I hope that this time, we will be more lucky, but I can't help being skeptical.
One odd thing about the article: "Carthage went into decline after its defeat. " Does the writer know there was another Punic War (and a third)?
Quote:One odd thing about the article: "Carthage went into decline after its defeat. " Does the writer know there was another Punic War (and a third)?

Possibly, but this is a Reuters newsflash, so we must hope the writer listened carefully to what the archeologists told him or her.

That said, Carthage arguably did go into decline after the defeat. Just not precipitously.
Quote:Possibly, but this is a Reuters newsflash, so we must hope the writer listened carefully to what the archeologists told him or her.

Reuters is a wire service. News wholesale. I've been working in a wire service, the AFP, for thirty years and I can assure you two things:

1) The writer did not know the number of Punic Wars. He probably knew there was a war between Rome and Carthage at some point, and that's about it.
2) He may have listened carefully to what the diggers told him, but the part about Carthage being in decline after that battle was just to show off his culture.
Well... Nice try, Jack. :lol:
And next time check your facts first.
Sheeeeeeesh....
Great news!

One only can begin to wonder how much unstudied hardware is sitting on someone´s private collection.
Isn't it great to be alive during the time when a new discovery is made? Many people have lived and died who would give anything to know the secrets that might be uncovered from this.
Quote:One only can begin to wonder how much unstudied hardware is sitting on someone´s private collection.

Not that much, actually. There are comparatively few collectors of ancient military hardware in the world, and those that do collect are very apt to publish their collections and make them widely available for scholarly study. I can assure you vastly more material is moldering, unstudied, in museum basements and warehouses.


Quote:2) He may have listened carefully to what the diggers told him, but the part about Carthage being in decline after that battle was just to show off his culture.

Not to defend this guy, but it's true Carthage, primarily a naval power, did lose control of the seas after this battle. The result being that the Second Punic War was almost entirely a land engagement.
Quote:A couple of years ago, a similar claim was made: the wrecks of Actium had been discovered. It turned out to be a mistake. I hope that this time, we will be more lucky, but I can't help being skeptical.

Jona - are You thinking about the Actium project from this site:

[url:365ghhh4]http://luna.cas.usf.edu/~murray/actium/brochure.html[/url]

I was always wondering why there came no news, do You have information that it is at an end?

At least I remember to have seen an (older) picture with a bust of Minerva that might have decorated the front of a Roman galley and which had allegedly been found in the waters at Actium. The piece has a form that could be interpreted as lining of the so called 'Obersporn' (unfortunately I don't know the correct English word, perhaps 'upper spur'), which is the smaller ram attached above the actual battering ram.

To return to the actual topic, does anybody have information or pictures of the Bronze helmet that was found last year from the Sicilian archaeologists or from the battering ram found in a private collection?

Greets - Uwe